She keeps striking out in the darkness,
but there is no one there to fight.
The shadows dance and slip away,
and she is exhausted to her very soul,
sparring with aggressors that don’t exist.
How to be successful in battle
when the one she fights
is on the inside?
A sense of heaviness, futility
from deep within.
Maybe it’s a simple case of fatigue.
I summon the courage and the strength
to recognize I won’t feel this way forever.
I face the demons, and I do battle.
No one sees. No one knows.
To the outside world,
I’m this cheerful person.
No one realizes the mighty battle
I’m fighting every day.
Sometimes the greatest wars
are waged within.
Are you he,
the one who procreated with me
and then left,
blaming me for everything?
Or are you one of his minions,
currying favor with him,
by feeding the thought
that I’m the crazy one?
don’t you have anything better to do,
than to scour the internet
looking for proof
that his lies about me are true?
I am a woman
making my way back on my feet
after a devastating loss.
Are you his new victim?
Do you believe the story that he loves you?
He told me he loved me once.
But when all was said and done,
it was easier to blame me for his pain
than to man up and work on himself.
You can troll all you want.
He can say that I am “whining” online.
But I will not stop speaking my truth.
And someday you might discover
that the things you criticize in me
are the disowned places in you
crying out for your loving attention.
When you feel ready to access those places,
you’ll stop pointing your finger at others
and go in the only real direction
that you haven’t yet explored…
Yesterday in a text message my ex-husband accused me of “whining online.” If you look at my post yesterday, you’ll see I talked about some challenges I’m currently going through: his underpayment of court-ordered support and the subsequent need to take legal action, as well as my need to secure new health insurance. Admittedly I was a bit startled when he referenced my online activity—choosing words that confirmed he had read my post—because it got me thinking that he or someone else is trolling this blog, stirring up adversity and feeding the story that there is something wrong with me. I speak this out into space, because I’m discovering more and more that abuse and shame can’t exist out in the open. Our secrets make us sick, and I won’t keep it a secret that the man I once loved is deciding to take liberties with the agreement he signed his name on, and justifying withholding funds from court-ordered support for me and his children with his twisted logic. I speak this out in the open, because unfortunately, underpayment or no payment of child support is the norm in our society, and those who have a legal responsibility to provide support to their children and former partners somehow manage to dodge the law and dodge the consequences that the law would mete out if they were caught in a timely fashion. I speak this out because I want this trend to change. I realize that if it has been this awful for me—coming from relative privilege (education, resources, community, job)—how must it be for the population of underprivileged single moms out there who don’t have access to the same resources? Finally, my words are my power. By speaking my truth I know who I am. I will not back down. I plan on fighting a good fight, for myself and all moms everywhere who struggle to know what their future will hold in a time of such volatility and uncertainty.
And to you trolls out there, whether you are he himself, or his new intimate victim, or one of his “friends,” keep reading. Enjoy my posts. Have fun. May you be safe, happy, healthy, peaceful and at ease. And may the pure light of awareness shine upon you and lead you to the realization that what you do to another you do to yourself, so that you can begin helping instead of continuing to hurt. When you feed a story like this, it helps no one. I stand with my hand stretched out in friendship, and you can take it at any time. The choice is yours.
Today’s prompt asks us to incorporate the theme of rebellion into our poem. Okey dokey!
It was spring of 2017
and I was experiencing
the most generative period of my life
in terms of my art, writing, music, teaching,
My spiritual practices were taking me to new heights,
and I grew excited thinking
about the adventures to come.
I had struck such a good balance
of work, mothering, marriage, and self time
that I weaned myself off antidepressants.
A week after I was completely off my meds,
he dropped the bomb.
I’m done. We’re just not good together.
I’ll always be grateful for the children.
You can’t change my mind.
As I attempted to make sense of his choice,
I realized that he simply couldn’t handle
the woman I was,
and the woman I was becoming.
He told me I wrote too much,
meditated too much,
made too much jun and kombucha.
I sewed too much,
knitted too much,
made too much art,
wasted my time
in frivolous pursuits.
In essence, I was too much,
and the things I did
made him uncomfortable.
He wanted me to shrink.
To stop making art,
to stop writing.
He wanted me to stuff myself
into the role of perfect housewife,
keep the house clean,
the floors scrubbed,
Luckily for me,
my parents raised me
to know who I am
and to honor the voice inside,
the One Who Knows the Truth.
She rose up in my defense.
She refused to let me be put down.
She said, Go girl! Make your art!
Write your words!
Run to the woods!
Be wild and free!
I listened to her.
I stayed true to myself.
This divorce has been one hell of a rocky ride,
and it continues to push me to the last edge of sanity.
I have moments of doubt and fear.
I still grieve the loss of my husband,
our closeness, our friendship
(or what I thought was friendship anyway).
One thing is for sure:
this world would be a far less interesting place
if I hadn’t let the Divine Rebel
save my soul.